EGO

I write these words with humility. I sincerely hope you receive them this way. I’m only 31. I haven’t figured God out. I’m not holier or closer to God than you. I just want to share what I’ve received.


Last night in the middle of a deep sleep I was awoken by a bright white light. I remember not wanting to look away. I started seeing lots a letters but the letter E is what stood out to me the most being as my real name starts with an E.


I had my focus fixed waiting for the message. The lights began to fade and were less blinding

the letters GO began to flash before my eyes.


I woke this morning with the message GO.


I didn't quite understand the message until I began cutting grass today. The sound of the lawn mower was loud enough to block out the noises of the world so I could hear god speak


The message I got: ERIC GO


I kept repeating this to myself over and over


I started thinking about my journey here and my transformation through this page.


Eric ( the old me) has to go so that I can become who God created me to be.


And then the Gods message hit me like a ton of bricks


EGO


I needed this message more now than ever and I feel that someone else here does as well.


I believe our definition for “ego” closely parallels Paul’s definition for “flesh.”


The ego is who you think you are. It’s your false identity, your body image, education, theological knowledge, clothes, friends, social status, job, successes and accomplishments. And, as Paul says, your ego is against your Spirit.


Everyone has an ego, and I believe it is important to recognize and let go of the ego’s lies in favor of something better.


This is hard work, however. It’s excruciating, to be honest, almost like dying. I would guess most people don’t let go of their ego unless life throws them a few gut punches. You probably know a few people who suffered unimaginable tragedy and have more peace and love as a result.


Can I be honest? The past year has largely sucked. And I’m beginning to understand why. My ego was dying. And when the ego begins to die, it feels like death. My identity, my purpose, everything I used to convince myself I was somebody, that I was special, was losing out in favor of a different voice.


“Who am I?”


The answer led me inside, and I found some ugly stuff, an identity composed of success, affirmation, and selfish ambition This inward journey has also led me to believe we can’t truly know God until we know ourselves. To uncover the Spirit, the True Self, you must wade through the ego’s facades and smoke screens. Until then, the ego controls things, including Christian things. This might explain why we can’t love our neighbor as ourselves, as Jesus tells us to do, especially when our neighbor is a democrat.


Your ego wants to separate, divide, and draw lines to prove itself. Why else do we compete, except for superiority? And while healthy competition isn’t wrong, most people never move beyond my team versus your team, my group against your group, my theology against yours. Any thinking that makes you better than the person beside you for any reason is not from God. The Creator is love and doesn’t need to compete.


Most of my "Christian" journey here, I thought it was my duty to have the right answers. I studied hard, and when I wasn’t really sure, I made something up. But while helping others make sense of God, especially those troubling parts about suffering. I became less certain. Something in me knew God’s nature and interaction with his creation couldn’t be explained in a few sentences.


Now I believe that “something” was my True Self, the Spirit.


As I look at Scripture, however, I see a God who is incredibly risky (too risky for our comfort) and painfully patient. It seems God is more vulnerable than powerful and somehow God uses everything (love, death, celebration, suffering) in the larger plan.


Why did slavery happen? Why are so many loved ones overcome by cancer and why are children sold into sex slavery?


For the first time, I can honestly answer, “I don’t know.”


I find peace in the land of unknown. I have faith that somehow, someway God knows and death won’t have the final word.


If you asked the ego to rank its greatest fears, change would take the top spot. When your ego is in charge, you love comfort and the status quo. It should come as no surprise that Jesus’s first sermon was “Repent!” (Matt. 4:17), which literally means “change your mind.”


The ego hates that message. But it’s difficult to explain away Jesus’s desire for us to change. So, most ego-centric people project the message onto a spouse, a child, a parent, a friend or life’s circumstances. As long as the ego can find someone else to change, it’s off the hook.


Your ego doesn’t want you to grow or change. It doesn’t want you to let go or stretch yourself beyond your current theological understanding. So, rather than accept the radical message of Jesus that essentially says, “You change. You’re the problem, not your spouse, child, or co-workers,” your ego searches for a place that loves the status quo.


When you know whose you are, when you uncover your divine identity, change isn’t threatening. Change is no longer an indictment on a particular generation, race, or leader. It’s an indictment on your ego.


“It’s just me, myself, and I,” says your ego. Your ego, your flesh, your false self needs to feel separate and special. It needs the spotlight and isn’t afraid to manipulate people, even God, to attract attention. The ego says, “Look what I’ve done. See what I accomplished.” And it’s always looking over its shoulder because it believes attention is a finite resource. Usually not openly, but almost always privately, the ego resents any person who threatens its platform or reputation.


The ego can, and often does, stand in place of God’s voice, and you don’t realize this until the “fit hits the shan.”


Your True Self doesn’t attach to accomplishments or titles. You no longer need to be who other’s want you to be. Climbing mountains and ladders no longer seem important either. Even a small taste of this radical shift liberates your heart and mind. This has been my experience, at least.


Depending on your position in life, the ego has an unhealthy attachment to either the past or the future. For some, the ego obsesses over the “good ol’ days,” you know, the way things used to be. It agonizes over what this world has become and believes restoring the old way or system of doing things would solve our problems. This same group is fearful about the future. It’s unknown, so why take a risk?


If you’re stuck in the past, wishing your marriage, church, or country would just go back to the way things were, your ego is calling the shots.


There is another diversionary tactic the ego uses to avoid the present: idealizing the future. Most people who idealize the future are cynical towards the past. There’s nothing redemptive or useful about what happened “back then.” For this group, the ego has convinced them to hold out for some future version of life, when things will be better. It embarrasses me to admit this is my story.


And it’s both painful and liberating to admit that future life where everything is perfect never comes.

Let me say this: the past, present, and future matter.


Our experience of God is tied to how fully we live in each moment. The present.


At the same time, the past reveals a larger narrative of God’s work and interaction with his creation. Your experience will be limited without knowledge of the past. Your faith will also be limited if you fear the future. God leads people forward, not backward. Those who allow the Spirit to lead know this.


If it’s hard, requires effort, or makes you uncomfortable, it’s not worth pursuing. So says the ego, at least. But if you’ve lived for any length of time, you know these situations are unavoidable. Rather than wrestling with discomfort or anxiety, the ego seeks a quick fix.


Most Christians like everything about Jesus, except the hard parts. Like losing your friends, being rejected by your own people, and, of course, dying on a cross. Again, I’m guilty.


Lord, I come to you in prayer.

Change me, Lord.

Change me from the inside.

I will cooperate with you, Lord.

I will allow you to transform me.

Amen





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